Although summer is barely over, the supermarket shelves are starting to fill with Christmas crackers, cards and all sorts of gift packs. It’s maybe a bit premature to start thinking about gift wrapping and Christmas stockings, but, take a look at any magazine shelf and you’ll see that the crafting magazines are all full of Christmas projects to make. Whether you’re planning on making the vast majority of your Christmas gifts this year, or making your own decorations for you home, now’s the time to get started.
We’re right in the middle of the fruit season, so spread the word among friends, neighbours and relatives that you’ll be happy to accept donations of plums, blackberries, apples, or any other soft fruits. Surf the internet for recipes for jams and chutneys, and start to cook batches which can later be used in hampers. If you have friends with similar ideas you can swap jars of different preserves between you and you will have the basics of a hamper in no time.
Throws, blankets or scarves
Novice knitters often underestimate the time and effort it will take to produce items in time for Christmas and start a project at the beginning of December, leaving far too little time to complete it. Smart choices about the sort of yarn to use will help speed a project along. King Cole chunky is a thicker than average knitting yarn which is knitted up using thick needles, so your project will grow much more quickly. King Cole chunky comes in a range of bright colours like magenta or lime green, making it ideal for bright scarves or blankets.
Start now to collect small scraps of felt, buttons, brightly coloured paper, ribbons and sequins so that when the Christmas tree comes down out of the loft you have already got everything you need to sit down with the kids and make some truly individual decorations. Stars can be made simply using newspaper layers glued together, and then spray painted or decorated with ribbons and scraps. Paper chains are one of the traditional decorations which have stood the test of time and can be made with left over pieces of wrapping paper or even pages cut from magazines. Fabric chains can be more durable, and spray starch will help keep the shape of the ring as you link the fabric together to form the chain.
Crackers and Cards
In the digital age the Christmas card may be falling out of fashion, but many of us still send cards to our nearest and dearest each year. There are thousands of ideas on the internet to give card inspiration, so whatever your craft there is an idea to suit. Fabric cards are effective and a great way to use up little pieces of Christmas or glittery fabric, or get the kids involved with potato printing or making a simple collage. Shop bought Christmas crackers are often a disappointment so make your own with crepe paper, cardboard centres from loo rolls and snaps bought cheaply online.
- Photograph by Tommy Hemmert Olesen(via Flickr) [CC BY-ND 2.0]
For a great selection of affordable King Cole chunky yarns perfect for cosy winter craft pojects, head to Yarnfest.co.uk.